FEBE for Firefox

I rebuilt my machine again recently. I fancied seeing what Fedora was doing and whether it was worth switching. Answer is: not for me. It felt somewhat lighter than it used to, but still a bit bulky and not all that great. And Gnome. I have lost a lot of my vehemence against Gnome, but I find that having 2 task bars kinda wastes screen real estate. It did make me wonder though, if KDE is the more Windows-alike desktop environment, why do businesses feel comfortable with Gnome?

Anyway, that’s beside the point. One of the downsides, in my opinion, to reinstalling your OS is remembering the various passwords, logins, bookmarks and plugins that you had before. Firefox, being a community-ish project has hoards of people to help solve that problem. There are a variety of plugins to help you with one or more of the problems – bookmark backups (although you could just back up the bookmark folder), password exporters and the like. You could even manually back up your profile (as long as it was working at the time) and then copy it to your new profile. Lots of solutions.

My new favourite is called FEBE. This backs up your entire profile or just bits of it to a schedule you set. You could ask it to back up to a network folder or to your hard drive. It just sits there in the background and does it’s thing. All you need to do is to install te FEBE plugin when you reinstall and get it to restore the profile. If you need a profile from a few days or weeks ago, not a problem. You can set it to save itself to date stamped folders meaning that it’s easy to go back to a “known good” profile. The only thing it’s not happy about doing is to restore the default profile if there’s only one profile set – the workaround is to rename the backup to end in .zip rather than .fbu and then to manually copy over the contents to your profile folder.

At the end of the restore you are left with all your plugins, bookmarks and login settings exactly as you left them – which is great if a plugin requires some tweaking to get it just how you like it. Not a major productivity boost, but it saves some hassle when you can’t remember whether you had a particular plugin or if you rarely manually log in to a site because you told Firefox to remember your username and password.


Posted on 19 February, 2008, in Computer Stuff and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I never let firefox remember my passwords, preferring to type them in every time so that I never have a chance to forget.

    Long ago I set the “remember password” on a Windows 2000 machine and when the time came for me to access the recovery partition just recently I was clueless about the admin password leading me with no way to get in…

    hari’s last blog post..Don’t thrust Firefox down our throats

  2. I’m all about the convenience 🙂 I have so many passwords and sites that I may go to only a few times that I just find it preferable to either using only a few passwords or filing a “forgotten password” report.

  3. I guess for non-critical passwords, it doesn’t matter, but I think the best password storage feature is stored between our two ears. 😉

    hari’s last blog post..Geeky and Meeky 18 – His True Colours

  4. Absolutely agree. But I’m very lazy 🙂

  5. I rebuilt my notebook last week. Recently I attended a training and according to their plan all candidates will have to use their own notebook and we will be given vmware images. Since vmware is sort of deprecated in fbsd (I use qemu), so I rebuilt my machine with Ubuntu Gutsy. Everything was done in a rush, plus doing backups ain’t really my cuppa tea. Ended up, during the training there are desktops provided for us, and I didn’t even bother to bring my notebook along. Grrr..

    od’s last blog post..hello world.

  6. That sort of thing really annoys me. Though the only similar thing that’s happened to me is that we were told to bring our own paper and pens and then had them all provided on the course. I didn’t want to have to bring a bag to the course 😦

  7. I am really surprised that there is not a elegant solution to this backup problem. I understand that febe may be good for many elements but I wonder how good the UI is and how easy it is to learn. Maybe I am just tired of learning new apps and want something to just do what I need out of the box with the click of a button. Anyway. thanks for the recommendation.

    Kerry Anns last blog post..Cheap Wheelchairs Online

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